Love Letter to a Black Lab.

“Phoenix: a person or thing [dog] regarded as uniquely remarkable in some respect.” ~  Siri

My Darling Phoenix,

Years ago, I stayed up all night with you and said goodbye
the first time you had Lyme when we lived with Lee.
You were so sick it echoed throughout his house
when you vomited on those ocean-slate floors.

But you got up, got well, and we forgot
how sick you were when we moved to Ohio
and how hard we worked to make you well.

We walked in the woods five days a week,
shared a bed, a deck, and a life.
You nurtured my sister through grief—
And a couple years later, did the same for me.

You listened to me scream in the car
as we drove across the country,
And witnessed me dancing
in the kitchen with a dead man.

My road trip buddy,
you protected me
by loving strangers.

When I left you to travel,
the neighbor boy diagnosed:
Master Separation Anxiety.

I’ve never been your master,
but I’m definitely your mom.

We’re as in sync as sisters.

Two years ago, when we took the trip out west,
(hotels and elevators, oh my!)
I fretted about how to treat your new case of Lyme.
You responded to those meds like a headache to Excedrin.

More walks in the woods.
More friends falling for you.
More snuggling and road trips.

What adventures we’ve shared!

But, now I’m up with you all night
while you fight for your life and my love.

I say it again: I love you, Baby.

You’re the best dog in the world.

I want you to get well.

I lean down and
Kiss your black velvet head
A dozen times.

I hold your swollen paws
And tell you: If it’s time for you to go, it’s okay.
Say hello to Kevin and Cassie and
All my loved ones on the other side.

You’re such a good girl, Phoenix.
You’ve been my true companion.
I couldn’t have asked for any better.

I love you.
I’m sorry you had to hurt.
Thank you for being mine—
The best dog in the world.

Thank you for showing me how to rise from the ashes repeatedly.

One more time, girl?

 

 

4 thoughts on “Love Letter to a Black Lab.

    1. She’s not gone yet, but she’s been dancing on the edge and unless something changes soon, we’ll say goodbye. Sad and blessed. Thank you, Jan.

      Like

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